Archives of Nethys

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Deities | Systems & Settlements


Colorless Mining World

Source Starfinder #29: The Cradle Infestation pg. 62
Location The Vast
Diameter ×1; Mass ×1-1/5; Gravity ×1-1/5
Atmosphere Normal
Day 36 hours; Year 180 days

The largest of four planets orbiting a nondescript star in the Vast, Agesh is an arid black orb streaked with white clouds. This mineral planet was discovered over a century ago by intrepid explorers from the Pact Worlds and settled shortly thereafter by miners hoping to extract monodust, a nanoscopic material with curious optical properties that make it a useful component in many hologram and laser technologies. Monodust saturates the planet’s environment and biosphere, giving Agesh its most noticeable element: a completely monochromatic environment. Monodust absorbs ambient light and reflects it across only a few discrete wavelengths. In practical terms, this means that precisely five colors exist on Agesh: black, dark gray, gray, light gray, and white.
While seeing the color leeched from the environment as the airlock doors open can be disorienting for many first-time visitors to Agesh, its long-term residents—both the miners who laboriously sift the desert sands for aggregated monodust chunks and the secondary network of merchants and other tradespeople who have sprung up around them— have adapted well to their unique home. Signage on Agesh utilizes distinct geometric symbols where other systems might rely on color coding, and local fashions tend to focus on aesthetically pleasing tessellations of black and white. Those least-adapted to Agesh’s environment are the top-level executives of the various mining corporations, many of whom maintain designated “prism rooms” in their domiciles, fitted with airlocks and filters to scrub the monodust out of the air and holographic projectors to superimpose colorful images across the walls. Though this process is expensive and energy-intensive, these executives receive a disproportionate amount of the lucrative profits from monodust mining, so they have the resources.
Efforts to synthesize monodust elsewhere have failed as, for unknown reasons, the substance decays rapidly when exposed to the atmosphere of other planets, necessitating special preservation in vacuum-sealed containers before it can be shipped off-world for sale. While biologically inert to virtually all life-forms, monodust does accumulate in the body, meaning that those who travel off-world retain their monochromatic coloration and lack of color vision for a few days, until the substance has been naturally eliminated from their skin and visual organs. This is a point of pride for some merchants who transport the valuable commodity.
Though no sapient creatures have evolved on Agesh, the planet’s biosphere is teeming with native creatures that are adapted to its arid, windblown surfaces, including black-gray lichens and gray cacti with striking white flowers. The planet’s reptilian fauna tend to be mostly gray-white to reflect the desert heat, though they also have black patterning to better blend into the black sands. Extraplanetary dissection of Ageshan life-forms has revealed the presence of vestigial cone cells and other structures associated with color perception, suggesting that monodust entered Agesh’s environment at some point in the relatively recent geological past, though who or what might have created and introduced such an unusual (and useful) material remains a mystery.